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Dr. James Romain

Professor of Saxophone & 
Department Chair

Office Location: FAC 401
James Romain Recordings
Saxophone Studio

Active regionally, nationally, and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, clinician, and jazz/commercial performer, James Romain embraces diverse genres of music. He actively contributes to the growing body of compositions and pedagogical literature for the instrument through his pursuit of commissions, recording projects, and published articles. Romain holds a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois, and M.M. and B.M. degrees from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Romain has been invited to present premiere performances at every World Saxophone Congress since 2003 (Minneapolis, Slovenia, Thailand, and Scotland). In addition, he regularly performs as invited soloist at regional and national biennial conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and at festivals and symposia throughout the United States and abroad. He has firmly established a national and international reputation as a committed advocate for new music, with 22 commissions, co-commissions, and dedications written, performed, and recorded as a direct result of his efforts.

As an orchestral saxophonist, James Romain performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, including a performance of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto in August of 2010 at London’s Royal Albert Hall on the BBC Proms series, and performances of Darius Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde in 2011. Dr. Romain is also the first-call saxophonist of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.

James Romain is an active chamber musician. He is the baritone saxophonist with the Oasis Quartet and with the New Third Stream Quartet, as well as with XPlorium, an innovative ensemble comprising four saxophonists, seven percussionists, and two pianists.

Dr. Romain is active as a jazz performer and educator, appearing regularly with the Des Moines Big Band, Turner Center Jazz Orchestra, and with a variety of jazz small groups. He has also performed with Clark Terry, Ron Miles, Eric Gunnison, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. As an in-demand doubler (saxophones, flutes, clarinets), he regularly perform in pit orchestras for touring productions at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, and with entertainers such as Johnny Mathis, Idina Menzel, and Ben Folds at venues including Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall.


  • Howl (Innova Records 811)
  • Oasis Quartet—Glass/Gotkovsky/Escaich (Innova Records 744)
  • Drake University Wind Symphony—Collage (Mark Custom 8658-MCD)
  • The Des Moines Big Band—Landmark (Neon Blue Records)
  • In Friendship (Centaur Records 2916)

James Romain is a Conn-Selmer Artist, and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones. As a Rico Artist, he also performs on Rico Reserve, Reserve Classic, and Select Jazz Reeds. Dr. Romain serves as Membership Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance

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